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Mazzini L.,Maggiore della Carita University Hospital | Vescovi A.,IRCCS Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza | Vescovi A.,Laboratorio Cellule Staminali | Cantello R.,University of Piemonte Orientale | And 3 more authors.
Expert Opinion on Biological Therapy | Year: 2016

Introduction: Despite knowledge on the molecular basis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) having quickly progressed over the last few years, such discoveries have not yet translated into new therapeutics. With the advancement of stem cell technologies there is hope for stem cell therapeutics as novel treatments for ALS.Areas covered: We discuss in detail the therapeutic potential of different types of stem cells in preclinical and clinical works. Moreover, we address many open questions in clinical translation.Expert opinion: SC therapy is a potentially promising new treatment for ALS and the need to better understand how to develop cell-based experimental treatments, and how to implement them in clinical trials, becomes more pressing. Mesenchymal stem cells and neural fetal stem cells have emerged as safe and potentially effective cell types, but there is a need to carry out appropriately designed experimental studies to verify their long-term safety and possibly efficacy. Moreover, the cost-benefit analysis of the results must take into account the quality of life of the patients as a major end point. It is our opinion that a multicenter international clinical program aime d at fine-tuning and coordinating transplantation procedures and protocols is mandatory. © 2016 Taylor & Francis. Source

Grassi D.,Instituto Cajal | Grassi D.,University of Turin | Bellini M.J.,Instituto Cajal | Acaz-Fonseca E.,Instituto Cajal | And 3 more authors.
Endocrinology | Year: 2013

The expression of arginine-vasopressin (AVP) is regulated by estradiol and testosterone (T) in different neuronal populations by mechanisms that are not yet fully understood. Estrogen receptors (ERs) have been shown to participate in the regulation of AVP neurons by estradiol. In addition, there is evidence of the participation of ERβ in the regulation of AVP expression exerted by T via its metabolite 5α-dihydrotestosterone (5α-DHT) and its further conversion in the androgen metabolite and ERβ ligand 3β-diol. In this study we have explored the role of ERs in the regulation exerted by estradiol and T on AVP expression, using the human neuroblastoma cell line SH-SY5Y. Estradiol treatment increased AVP mRNA levels in SH-SY5Y cells in comparison with cells treated with vehicle. The stimulatory effect of estradiol on AVP expression was imitated by the ERα agonist 4,4′,4′,-(4-propyl- [1H]-pyrazole-1,3,5-triyl)trisphenol and blocked by the ER antagonist, ICI 182,780, and the ERα antagonist 1,3-bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)-4-methyl-5-[4-(2- piperidinylethoxy)phenol]-1hpyrazoledihydrochloride. In contrast, the ERβ agonist 2,3-bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)-propionitrile reduced AVP expression, whereas the ERβ antagonist 4-[2-phenyl-5,7-bis(trifluoromethyl) pyrazolo[1,5-a]pyrimidin-3-yl]phenol enhanced the action of estradiol on AVP expression. T increased AVP expression in SH-SY5Y cells by a mechanism that was dependent on aromatase but not on 5α-reductase activity. The T effect was not affected by blocking the androgen receptor, was not imitated by the T metabolite 5α-DHT, and was blocked by the ERα antagonist 1,3-bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)-4-methyl-5-[4-(2-piperidinylethoxy)phenol] -1hpyrazoledihydrochloride. In contrast, 5α-DHT had a similar effect as the ERβ agonists 2,3-bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)-propionitrile and 3β-diol, reducing AVP expression. These findings suggest that estradiol and T regulate AVP expression in SH-SY5Y cells through ERs, exerting a stimulatory action via ERα and an inhibitory action via ERβ. Copyright © 2013 by The Endocrine Society. Source

Gartner A.,University of Porto | Pereira T.,University of Porto | Armada-da-Silva P.A.S.,University of Lisbon | Amorim I.,University of Porto | And 17 more authors.
Differentiation | Year: 2012

Cellular systems implanted into an injured nerve may produce growth factors or extracellular matrix molecules, modulate the inflammatory process and eventually improve nerve regeneration. In the present study, we evaluated the therapeutic value of human umbilical cord matrix MSCs (HMSCs) on rat sciatic nerve after axonotmesis injury associated to Vivosorb® membrane. During HMSCs expansion and differentiation in neuroglial-like cells, the culture medium was collected at 48, 72 and 96h for nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) analysis in order to evaluate the metabolic profile. To correlate the HMSCs ability to differentiate and survival capacity in the presence of the Vivosorb® membrane, the [Ca2+]i of undifferentiated HMSCs or neuroglial-differentiated HMSCs was determined by the epifluorescence technique using the Fura-2AM probe. The Vivosorb® membrane proved to be adequate and used as scaffold associated with undifferentiated HMSCs or neuroglial-differentiated HMSCs. In vivo testing was carried out in adult rats where a sciatic nerve axonotmesis injury was treated with undifferentiated HMSCs or neuroglial differentiated HMSCs with or without the Vivosorb® membrane. Motor and sensory functional recovery was evaluated throughout a healing period of 12 weeks using sciatic functional index (SFI), extensor postural thrust (EPT), and withdrawal reflex latency (WRL).Stereological analysis was carried out on regenerated nerve fibers. In vitro investigation showed the formation of typical neuroglial cells after differentiation, which were positively stained for the typical specific neuroglial markers such as the GFAP, the GAP-43 and NeuN.NMR showed clear evidence that HMSCs expansion is glycolysis-dependent but their differentiation requires the switch of the metabolic profile to oxidative metabolism. In vivo studies showed enhanced recovery of motor and sensory function in animals treated with transplanted undifferentiated and differentiated HMSCs that was accompanied by an increase in myelin sheath. Taken together, HMSC from the umbilical cord Wharton jelly might be useful for improving the clinical outcome after peripheral nerve lesion. © 2012 International Society of Differentiation. Source

Grassi D.,Spanish University for Distance Education (UNED) | Grassi D.,Instituto Cajal | Grassi D.,University of Turin | Grassi D.,Neuroscience Institute Cavalieri Ottolenghi | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Neuroendocrinology | Year: 2013

Modulation of the nitric oxide producing system (demonstrated via the NADPH-diaphorase histochemical reaction) by oestradiol has been established in several structures of the rat brain. The present study aimed to explore the possible regulation of NADPH-diaphorase activity by oestradiol in neurones of the supraoptic (SON) and paraventricular (PVN) nuclei and the role of oestrogen receptors (ERα and ERβ) in this regulation. Adult ovariectomised rats were divided into six groups and injected either with vehicle or a single dose of oestradiol, a selective ERα agonist-PPT [4,4′,4″-(4-propyl-[1H]-pyrazole-1,3,5-triyl)trisphenol], a selective ERβ agonist-DPN [2,3-bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)-propionitrile], a selective ERα antagonist-MPP [1,3-bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)-4-methyl-5-[4-(2-piperidinylethoxy)phenol]-1H-pyrazole dihydrochloride] or a selective ERβ antagonist-PHTPP (4-[2-phenyl-5,7-bis(trifluoromethyl)pyrazolo[1,5-a]pyrimidin-3-yl]phenol). The number of NADPH-diaphorase positive elements in the SON and the PVN was modulated by both ERs but, depending on the nucleus, ERα and ERβ ligands induced different effects. These results suggest that the regulation of nitrergic system by ERs may play a role in the control of oestrogen-dependent physiological mechanisms regulated by the SON and the PVN. © 2012 British Society for Neuroendocrinology. Source

Fontana R.,University of Milan | Fontana R.,Italian Institute of Technology | Della Torre S.,University of Milan | Meda C.,University of Milan | And 3 more authors.
Endocrinology | Year: 2014

Estrogens play an important role in the regulation of energy homeostasis in female mammals and a reduced ovarian function,dueto natural aging or surgery, is associated withbodyweight increase and fat redistribution. This disruption of energy homeostasis may constitute a trigger for several pathologiesknownto be associated with climacterium; however, so far, limited attention has been devoted to the ability of estrogen replacement therapies (ERT) to reinstate the balanced energy metabolism characteristic of cycling female mammals. The purpose of the present study was to compare the efficacy of selected ERTs in reversing the ovariectomy-induced gain in body weight. To this aim female ERE-Luc mice were ovariectomized and, after 3 weeks, treated per os for 21 days with: conjugated estrogens, two selective estrogen receptor modulators (bazedoxifene and raloxifene), and the combination of bazedoxifene plus conjugated estrogens (tissue-selective estrogen complex, TSEC). The study shows that the therapy based on TSEC was the most efficacious in reducing the body weight accrued by ovariectomy (OVX). In addition, by means of in vivo imaging, the TSEC treatment wasshownto increase estrogen receptor (ER) transcriptional activity selectively in the arcuate nucleus, which is a key area for the control of energy homeostasis. Finally, quantitative analysis of the mRNAs encoding orexigenic and anorexigenic peptides indicated that following ERT with TSEC there was a significant change in Agrp, NPY, and Kiss-1 mRNA accumulation in the whole hypothalamus. Considering that prior studies showed that ERT with TSEC was able to mimic the rhythm of ER oscillatory activity during the reproductive cycle and that such fluctuations were relevant for energy metabolism, the present observations further point to the ER tetradian oscillation as an important component of the ER signaling necessary for the full hormone action and therefore for an efficacious ERT. Copyright © 2014 by the Endocrine Society. Source

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